E-Postcard #6: Tide pooling anyone?

A tide pool walk along the Cape Peninsula is an amazing experience! Patrick Cardwell, our South African guide and a naturalist in the classic tradition, opened our eyes to an extraordinary world. None of my images have been color-enhanced. Southern Africa has a particularly rich marine fauna and flora, with over 12,000 species, or almost 6% of all coastal marine species known worldwide.

Driving along the spectacular Atlantic coastline, I was reminded of Sir Francis Drake’s description of the Cape of Good Hope on his global voyage in 1580 as “the fairest Cape…in the whole circumference of the earth.”

Cape sea urchins are as colorful as wildflowers

Dwarf cushion-star (wonderful camouflage)

 Granular cushion-star

Sandy anemone (colors very variable, but the blue color is unusually beautiful)

Pincushion star (the black spots are tubercles; feeds mostly on corals)

Sponge-encrusted triton

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